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At Vera House, We are Allies

At Vera House, We are Allies

In recent months at Vera House we’ve been exploring what it means for us to be an ally. Through this process, we have come to realize that we don’t want to simply say that we stand behind oppressed people, that Vera House is a “safe space,” and that we push back against racism and oppression. Being an ally must be more than those things, it requires action and to show up and stand up in the times it is needed most. For the Transgender community, that time is now.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is considering establishing a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination.  The proposal being put forth to establish a “uniform” definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with. This definition is incredibly limiting, dehumanizing, and oppressive. It does not affirm dignity and human rights for all. In one fell swoop, if implemented, this policy would undo what progress has been made by the Transgender community, who has been fighting for years, to simply be recognized, respected, and protected under the law equal to their cisgender counterparts. This proposal would indoctrinate discrimination against the transgender population as acceptable, and facilitate violence against transgender people. Its effects would go far beyond bathrooms and pronouns. The impact would be far-reaching and painful for the estimated 1.4 million Americans who identify as a gender other than their ascribed “sex” at birth. 

Vera House affirms the right of all individuals to exist and participate fully in public life with dignity regardless of their gender identification. Transgender people and non-binary people are real and their lives have meaning. Any attempt by the government to use science to justify bigoted policy should not be taken lightly. We will always stand as allies of the transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and intersex individuals who are fighting for their rights. We do not support this proposal to eradicate recognition of this community.

To the members of our community who identify as transgender or non-binary: you can always consider Vera House a place where you will be seen and treated with respect and dignity. As an agency, it is our vision to create a world free of violence and abuse, and that vision calls us to challenge violence and abuse in all forms. We hope you will join us.

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